In light of recent legalization of recreational cannabis in Illinois, Chicago officials have installed special dropboxes in many local airports this month for passengers to dump any cannabis in the event that they mistakenly bring any.
According to the Chicago Tribune, O’Hare International Airport and Midway Airport have installed the boxes so far in order to stop people from bringing cannabis on planes.
“We’re not encouraging people to bring cannabis through the airports at all,” said Maggie Huynh, a spokeswoman for the Chicago Police Department. “But, if for some reason you have it on you, we have those amnesty boxes out there so that you can dispose of it prior to getting on the airplane.”
While TSA isn’t going to be intentionally or specific checking for cannabis at the airports since cannabis is now legal in Illinois, they are still legally obligated to turn in any cannabis they do find to the authorities. For that reason, they decided to install the box so that people can dispose of cannabis easily and discreetly rather than face consequences at another airport.
“In the event a substance that appears illegal is discovered during security screening, our officers will refer the matter to a law enforcement officer, who then follow their own procedures,” TSA spokeswoman Sari Koshetz said.
The boxes are officially owned and controlled by the Chicago Department of Aviation and serviced by the police. Officers come to check the boxes and dispose of the cannabis regularly as they would other controlled substances.
So far, Chicago has been especially careful about how cannabis is handled. The mayor has set aside specific parts of the city for cannabis business use, and Chicago police recently released a video of cannabis facts. This represents the next major step for logical and reasonable control of cannabis use in the state.